Bravo back to face Ireland
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC):
Veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has been predictably recalled to the West Indies side for the three-match Twenty20 International series against Ireland starting here on Wednesday.
The experienced 36-year-old has played 66 T20Is, but the last of those came over three years ago in the troubled series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in the wake of the controversial sacking of head coach Phil Simmons.
Bravo called time on his career in October 2018, citing the need to "preserve my longevity as a professional cricketer" but made a sudden about-turn last May following the change in Cricket West Indies administration.
Chief selector Roger Harper said yesterday that Bravo would be a boost to the side's bowling stocks while also serving as a mentor for the younger players.
"Dwayne Bravo was recalled with the specific intention of bolstering our 'death' bowling, which was identified as an area that really needs improving," Harper said.
"His record in this department speaks for itself. He will also be able to act as a mentor to the other 'death' bowlers and lend his experience wherever needed."
Bravo is a former one-day captain, having led the side for 19 months before being sacked in 2014 following his central role in a pay dispute with the board, which led to the controversial abandoned tour of India.
He remained part of the T20 set-up, however, and was part of the squad that captured West Indies' second T20 World title in India back in April 2016.
Bravo contended last year in an interview that his continued non-selection had been based purely on "petty politics from some immature individuals" but was prepared to end his retirement from the shortest format in the wake of Ricky Skerritt's election to the CWI presidency.
And speaking this weekend about his latest call-up, Bravo said he was thrilled with the development and was anxious to help the younger players in the squad.
"It's a good feeling, and I feel like a kid again ... it was something on my mind since the change of leadership so I'm just happy that I got the opportunity again to represent the region, and I'm looking forward to doing my best," he told i95FM.
"What excites me is the young talent we have there now with all those players there. I just want to contribute and build on something that I think is very special in the making."
Overall, in T20s, Bravo is the most successful bowler, with 490 wickets from 450 matches, and remains one of the most sought-after franchise players worldwide.
All-rounder Rovman Powell has also earned a recall to the Windies side following injury, last turning out for the Caribbean side nearly six months ago on India's tour of the Caribbean.
SQUAD - Kieron Pollard (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr , Kesrick Williams.